Citizens of Maud Texas are taking to social media to express their outrage over the actions of newly elected mayor Jessie Hicks that have led to the majority of the Maud Volunteer Fire Department. You can hear what the mayor thinks in this meeting audio.
Many Maud citizens and area residents have voiced their opinions on the situation in Maud on Facebook with an overwhelming majority being negative towards the small East Texas town’s new Mayor.
Here is an audio recording from the Maud City Council meeting in question. The recording begins when the council reconvenes after the executive session that resulted in the termination of longtime M.V.F.D. Chief Roy Beckett.
Some of the Firefighters that resigned their positions, some after many years of service, are part of a Facebook page titled “Former Memebers Maud Volunteer Fire Department“.
A post on the page reportedly written by Roy Beckett reads:
Please Mayor Jessie Hicks tell the Community you violated the opens meeting act. Please tell the community you are sorry for destroying the Fire Department please.
Keep the following in mind.
1. This meeting was in violation of the city ordinance as the paper pointed out. It states the meeting would be conducted in a regular city council meeting.
2. I requested to have everything heard in open session so you the public could hear and judge for yourself if I did something wrong that warranted my removal. This was dismissed by Jimmy Clary saying he wanted to Go into executive session. The Open Meetings Act says it is my choice to go in executive session or open session. Please Mayor Jessie Hicks tell the community you violated the Open Meetings Act.
3. No one resigned from the fire department when you removed me, but when you had the fire department business meeting and introduced an ex fire chief and then told them they had to sign a letter saying they could not talk about you WOW. They asked the new fire chief if he would stand behind them and he would not answer the question so members started dropping like flies.
This is just a couple of the violations that were made. The list goes on. A recording of the fire department business meeting will be posted.
Here is a link to the recording of the MVFD business meeting that Mayor Hicks took over and declared that he was naming Johnny Nichols as the new Volunteer Fire Department Chief in violation of the M.V.F.D. by-laws. In the audio you can hear Mayor Hicks claim that he can be Fire Chief and Mayor if he wants, and according to the recording, “do whatever the hell I want.”
Details of everything that led to this were reported in The Bowie County Tribune with a partial list of those that have resigned from the department, including some with highly trained positions with the department…
Last night, a large contingent of the members of the department resigned, including the departments EMS personnel. Those that resigned included Wayne Foster (Emergency Care Attendant), Roy Beckett (Emergency Care Attendant), Tony Albright (Emergency Care Attendant), Jamey Butler (Captain/Fire Marshal), Chris Rogers, Justin Striplin, Shane Fowler, Chase Hackney, Rebecca Butler (Emergency Care Attendant), secretary Jeanna Lolies, Lieutenant Matt Lolies and Jennifer Beckett.
Roy Beckett has served the Maud Community for more than 20 years, with the last nine years as Chief for the Maud Volunteer Fire Department. He was allegedly removed from the position for not adding a former member of the VFD back to the Fire Department’s roster as ordered by Hicks. The former-member in question is Arrique Bernard, and Arrique was not added back to the department after a member vote on the matter as ordered by the Maud Volunteer Fire Department By-laws.
The controversy is sure to grow in the coming days, as their have been multiple sources reporting that the actions of Mayor Jessie Hicks are in fact violations of Maud City Ordinances.
Staff at texarkanaFYI have reached out to Mayor Hicks for comment but so far have received no replies.